You can’t eat runny eggs and you should avoid losing weight. There are so many rules that you’ll hear during pregnancy. Everyone seems to have their own thoughts on what’s good and not good for pregnant women. You’ll hear tips and advice that is excellent to protect the health of you and your unborn baby.
However, there’s some advice that is just downright disturbing. It isn’t helpful, and it scares more people that help. In fact, the advice can sometimes be dangerous as it can contradict the medical advice being given by doctors.
To make sure everyone remains safe and healthy, it’s time to look at the advice that you shouldn’t pay any attention to. Here are 10 disturbing pieces that you can ignore.
Sex Is a Big No-No
In the Middle Ages, people were told that sex during pregnancy was bad. Considering they also thought that women determined the gender of the baby it’s not that surprising. Medical knowledge wasn’t what it is today.
However, this idea that sex is dangerous for the baby is still around in some cultures. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. There is no research that shows sex can potentially harm the baby. In fact, in some cases, sex can help during pregnancy!
The only time that you should listen to this advice is if a doctor has stated that sex could be dangerous. This is often the case if you’re at a risk of pre-term labor. The oxytocin that is released when you have an orgasm can lead to contractions, so doctors will want to avoid that happening too early. If you have a healthy pregnancy there is a very little risk of that being a problem.
Of course, you don’t have to have sex if you don’t want. Some women don’t want anybody touching them during pregnancy. The breasts can be tender and vaginal dryness can be an issue. Morning sickness and the feeling of being big can also put some women off having sex. There’s nothing wrong with choosing not to, but there’s no reason you shouldn’t if you do want sex.
You Should Never Wear Heels
You may have heard people tell you that heels during pregnancy are something to avoid. Some people will tell you this with a kind intention. They found that heels were a killer during pregnancy and don’t want you to face the same issue. However, there’s absolutely no medical reason why you can’t wear heels.
I wouldn’t wear them if you don’t normally. Your center of gravity will be off with the pregnancy bump and the extra weight can be painful on the balls of your feet. If you’re not used to heels, there is more of a chance of falling over them or you may suffer from swelling feet and discomfort.
Those who are used to wearing heels likely won’t notice much of a difference. If your feet do start to hurt, you can always take them off. It’s worth having a pair of flats with you, so you have something to change into when you need to. You may find that you prefer flats while pregnant anyway for comfort, but there’s nothing wrong with pulling the heels out for special occasions.
You’re Eating for Two
As much as there seems to be logic in this, the advice really isn’t that true. You do not want to double up on the amount of food you eat daily. In fact, the only time you need to increase the amount you eat is during the final trimester. Even then, that only needs to be 200-300 calories more per day, which is around one slice of bread with some baked beans.
Your baby will take nutrients from you. The calories you store will be used for your baby. There’s no need to worry about your baby not getting enough to grow and develop.
There’s nothing wrong with having a milkshake, ice cream, or bar of chocolate now and then. You don’t need to be a saint 100% of the time during your pregnancy. You can have a day where you eat a little more than normal. Some women feel that need because they’re hungry! Just follow the list of foods to avoid and those to stock up on by your doctor. That’s the main bit of food advice you need to follow throughout.
Don’t Get an Epidural if You Want to Breastfeed
There’s alarming advice that epidurals make it difficult to breastfeed. In fact, at one-time doctors advised patients to avoid all pain medication as it prevents breastfeeding. There are no studies that show this. If you really need that epidural to make it through childbirth, ask for it.
However, there is a downside to epidurals. They can make labor and have a natural birth difficult. You lose feeling entirely from the waist down. This makes it hard to know when to push, which can cause some distress for your baby. Your midwife or doctor will be there to help, but you may need to have an emergency C-section.
It’s the C-section that can temporarily make it difficult to breastfeed. Your body hasn’t had to full burst of hormones to alert you to your baby being born, telling your body to start producing the breast milk. It can take a couple of extra days for the milk supply to come in, so it really is a temporary thing. You can still breastfeed either way.
In some cases, an epidural and C-section may be needed. Your doctor will make this decision based on how the labor is progressing, the position of the baby, and health factors for you and your unborn child. While you may not want a C-section, sometimes it really is the safest option. Ignore the advice about epidurals and breastfeeding and work with whatever is safest for your baby.
Don’t Get the Flu Shot (or Any Vaccination)
There are many conflicting reports on vaccinations and the health. This is especially the case during pregnancy. It’s normal to be worried about getting vaccines or taking medication when you’re pregnant. Some do interact with the development of the unborn child, but that is not the case for the flu shot or the whooping cough vaccine.
In fact, the evidence shows that the risk to your unborn children is worse if you don’t get the vaccines. Catching the flu while pregnant can leave you dehydrated and cause some seizures in your child. It can halt development and cause other serious risks.
As for a whooping cough, there’s a high risk of your baby catching it after birth. By getting the vaccine, you pass on that immunity to your child.
You don’t need to get all available vaccines though. Talk to your doctor about the best ones to get for the health of your baby.
Ignore Everything the Doctor Says
You’ll hear some moms tell you to ignore everything you’ve heard from the doctors. Most of the time this is advice from older generations, as they didn’t get the advice when they were carrying their own children. Yes, your parents and grandparents are likely to be the people telling you to ignore your own doctors.
While they may not have heard the advice, it doesn’t mean the advice is useless. They likely didn’t hear the advice because dangers weren’t known at the time. At one-point pregnant women were encouraged to eat as much life as possible for the vitamin A and iron. Now, organ meats are on the “avoid” list, because of the type of vitamin A and risks of miscarriage.
Some women were even told you that smoking was fine, if you kept smoking to a minimum. Now we know that smoking can harm the baby. Yes, second-hand smoke is bad.
You’ll hear the same advice when your baby is born. Because you survived sleeping on your front, your parents will think it perfectly finds for your baby to do the same; despite evidence showing that tummy-sleeping babies are at a higher risk of SIDS.
The information now is around for the good of you and your baby. And this information is constantly adapting due to new research. Go with the flow and listen to something your doctor is saying. If it comes from others, double check the information first and ask your doctor.
Avoid All Seafood and Coffee All the Time
Out of all the foods and drinks around, you’ll likely hear that you should avoid all seafood and coffee throughout your pregnancy. The good news is you really don’t need to. But you do need to use some due care and diligence.
Let’s start with coffee. While there are studies that show caffeine can be bad for the baby, there are also studies that show some caffeine each day is safe. Doctors recommend that you stick to just one or two cups of regular, filtered coffee a day. If you want more than that, opt for decaf. Tea and green tea have slightly less caffeine in them, so you can get away with more cups.
When it comes to seafood, use care when choosing where to eat. Don’t eat raw fish. Sushi is not your friend right now. There can be bacteria growing in the fish and those bacteria can cause problems for your digestive system. Food poisoning can be dangerous for your baby and it’s also annoying when you’re already suffering from pregnancy sickness, stomach bloating, and a baby taking up most of the space inside you.
There’s nothing wrong with eating some tuna, salmon, and even mackerel. These fishes have omega-3 fatty acids, which are excellent for the cell health and can help with brain development in your baby. They can also help your brain and cognitive functions, which tend to take a beating during pregnancy.
What you want to do is make sure any fish you do eat is low in mercury. Yes, fish does naturally contain some mercury and it is dangerous to your baby. It’s also dangerous to you!
Don’t Exercise While Pregnant
This can be odd advice, but it is easy to see where it comes from. High-risk pregnancies will see doctors trying to eliminate as many of the risks as possible. That often means advice not to do exercise and in some cases staying off your feet. But that does not mean you should avoid all exercise throughout your pregnancy if your doctor has not said something.
If you have a healthy pregnancy, some exercise is good for you. Of course, this is not the time to train for a marathon, but you can find that pregnancy yoga, swimming, and some strength training can be beneficial. Personal trainers can even help to create a plan that is suitable for your baby bump. The types of exercise you will want to avoid are those that have a risk of falling from heights since there is a risk of hurting the baby. This can include horse riding and cycling, although a stationary bike can be beneficial.
Exercise helps to strengthen your body to make labor easier. It can also boost your mood, keeping you in a positive and less anxious mindset during and after pregnancy. You will also find that you can keep your pregnancy weight gain within the expectations set by your doctor.
Of course, if your doctor has said to stay off your feet, then follow those orders. They are there for a reason.
You Cannot Return to Your Career
You may hear people tell you that once you have a baby your career is over. Quite honestly, you can ignore that advice but keep in mind that others will not. This could mean your boss attempts to unfairly push you out of work, but they can face discrimination for this. You are protected in the workforce if you want to return to work.
Some women do choose to return to work after their six weeks maternity. There is nothing wrong with that if that is what you want to do. Just make sure you have a suitable care set up for your child, whether it is a family member, a nanny, or a daycare center. You will find the choice that works best for you and your finances.
If you do not want to return to your career, there is nothing wrong with that either. Just make sure it is something you can afford, and you and your spouse agree upon. Open communication between both parents is essential. It honestly does not matter what other people think.
You will find everyone will judge your decisions. It is impossible to please everyone, so you should just work on what is best for your little family unit.
You Cannot Have a Social Life
Pregnancy means no social life at all. Once you find out you are pregnant, you must keep yourself locked away in your home. No fun for you!
Well, that is what some of the disturbing advice involves. It is often linked to the fact that you should not drink alcohol in pregnancy (the odd glass now and then is not likely to harm your child but do not consume as much as you would when not pregnant). People view socializing as a time to drink and will think you will not want to join in when pregnant.
There are also views that once you have your baby that your social life is dead. That is not the case. While your current social life will change, it is not going to completely die out. You will make new friends through parenting classes and groups. There will be a new community of people to meet when you go to baby groups. And eventually, your friends will start to have kids and realize that they do not want to be excluded just because of babies.
Your social life just changes. It is not completely over. Anyone who says it is dead just does not know what they are talking about.
Pregnancy is supposed to be a fun time. It is time to start treating it like that. There will be advised that you need to follow, but there is also advice that you should just ignore. Following the wrong advice can end up more dangerous for you and your baby. Listen to your doctor and follow their advice. If you are worried about anything someone else has said, as your doctor to clarify.